Online reputation. Although it’s a newer term, its impact is significant. However, as a physician, do you have to concern yourself with this area? How much influence does online reputation have on potential patients choosing your practice? Well, it’s substantial. According to a survey conducted by Software Advice, 71% of patients check online reviews as a first step in the doctor selection process.
Additionally, 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate doctors. So, it follows that keeping up with your online reviews and presence overall is a vital component to your success. But where do you start? Here are a few tips to help you manage your online reputation.
What you don’t know can still hurt you. It’s a common adage in medicine, and the same line of thinking works with online reputation. Type your name in a Google search and see for yourself what your patients, and others, think of your practice. You have to know your reputation before you can fix it.
Respond and learn from your reviews
Now that you have searched your name and read your reviews, it’s time to get to work. Read your reviews and note points that can help improve your practice. Understand, you can learn as much, if not more, from a negative evaluation than you can from a positive one. The next step, respond. Try to react to every review. Yes, even the ones that seem unnecessarily negative. Remember, new patients will be searching through reviews to decide if your practice is a good fit for them and their families.
Be proactive with an up-to-date site and social media presence
If you want a good rebuttal for reviews, be proactive. First, have a website. Complete with all the information a new patient, or current patient, needs. Ensure that your site is up-to-date because a website with old information is harmful to your online reputation. Next, consider having a social media presence. Patients can turn to a channel you control for answers to their questions: which is far easier to maintain than external reviews. On both mediums, consider posting your positive testimonials. Why waste a great opportunity to paint yourself in a positive light?
Focus on customer/patient service
As we previously noted, customer service is vital for any industry. A staff trained in proper customer service techniques is the best way to promote a positive online presence. The key is to solve problems before a patient even leaves your office. If they leave with a positive outcome, they will most likely give you positive feedback. At the minimum, they won’t give you a negative review.
Whether you discover your online presence is stellar or not, so much. You aren’t powerless when it comes to setting your practice’s online narrative. React and proact, and the rest will take care of itself.